Today FDA announced its strategy for training the food industry as part of the successful implementation of FSMA. This included awarding a $600,000 grant to the International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI) to establish a National Coordination Center. This center will serve an important function in the training process for the food industry.
“One size won’t fit all when it comes to training,” according to an FDA release. “The most important goal that the FDA expects of any training program is the outcome—that it advances knowledge among the food industry to meet FSMA requirements.” The agency indicated that there will be different options and delivery formats for the training, but wants all hands on deck—domestic and international stakeholders from government, industry and academia—to work with FDA on developing and delivering the training to food suppliers.
The major components of the FSMA Training Strategy include:
- Crafting the FSMA alliance curricula
- The alliances include the Produce Safety Alliance, the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance and the Sprout Safety Alliance
- Alternate training options
- Cooperative agreements, including a five-year agreement with the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
- Establishing the National Coordination and Regional Centers to support training delivery
- Delivering the training
- The three above alliances are developing a Train-the-Trainer program to provide training via an established process. A range of partners will be involved, including the Association of Food and Drug Officials, the Association of Public Health Laboratories, and the Association of American Feed Control Officials
- A FSMA collaborative training forum co-chaired by FDA and USDA